Robbo and Becci caught up with Brett and Kate Ryan, from Focus on the Family Australia, to talk about ways we can encourage faith in our kids…
It’s so important to be able to instil our traditions into the next generation, but we often struggle with how to develop faith in our kids, and a personal relationship in Christ.
Brett believes it’s not just about keeping them in Church. “We want them to be in a relationship with God, and desire to be with other faith filled people. And that starts with mum and dad. We need to be engaged with the Church community. Kids perceive what’s real, authentic and genuine. So we need to make it real for them. This has such a flow on effect in our kids’ lives. It’s about creating a legacy, and then maintaining that legacy.”
But Kate says it isn’t always straightforward. “It can be very difficult if your child comes to you and questions if God is real. Our son did that when he was about 16, so we went on the journey with him. He enjoyed reading, so we found some good resources and went searching for God together.”
Brett says that as parents, we should not desire to just go through the routine. “We want our kids to really own their faith and follow it through.”
Kate says it’s very easy to overreact in a situation like this. “We want our kids to come to us, which means we need to be calm and talk things through. We want them to be able to talk to us about anything, especially their faith. When they are little they’re living off our relationship, but we want them to own their faith. They are watching the way we serve God and the outworking of the fruits of the spirit in our lives. They have to find Him for themselves.”
Brett agrees that there is no ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to faith in our kids. “There are numerous contributing factors, including creating a lifestyle and modelling how we live out our faith. Find a community they find comfortable and relevant because you want them to be enthused about going to a faith based community. It has to be a genuine journey for them that will hopefully last a life time.”
For more information and resources, visit families.org.au or listen to the rest of Brett and Kate’s discussion below.